photo sourceMy friend Miriam is a yoga master, modern dancer, early riser, connoisseur of baked goods. And I had the pleasure of being her house guest during my recent NYC travels. Because she teaches yoga in the wee hours of the morning, she usually wakes up before dawn. Why would a girl like this need curtains on her windows to keep out the sun? She doesn't. So after a late night, I woke up very early to the sunshine in my face. I didn't have time to get grumpy, because I heard rattling pots and pans in the kitchen and smelled something fabulous. Who is this girl who bakes as the sun comes up? My friend introduced me to Irish Soda Bread, a delicious flaky bread/pastry, baked with your choice of fruit (Miriam used currants because she's fancy.) We spread butter on top, drank our coffee and talked about life. It was great. Irish Soda Bread makes 2 loaves
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries or currants
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 2 loaf pans.
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Cut in butter and mix thoroughly; stir in raisins.
Add buttermilk & egg to flour mixture, stir until well moistened.
Divide dough between two loaf pans. Sprinkle each loaf with granulated sugar.
Bake 1 hour; test with a toothpick to see if done.
Cool in pans for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.